Canadian Bankruptcies Law: Bankruptcy law, or insolvency law, is a federal law that is governed by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). It is overseen by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy and, in the case of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, administered by Licensed Insolvency Trustees.
Individuals and businesses that are facing financial problems can take advantage of many bankruptcy laws to get a fresh start.
Bankruptcy is a federal law, although there are some parts of the law that are put in place by your province or territory.
For example, the bankruptcy exemptions – the assets that you are allowed to keep when going bankrupt – are set by each province.
Bankruptcy laws in Canada were written to give you and your creditors protection and to ensure that your creditors are treated fairly and your rights are respected.
Federal Insolvency Law
The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act is the legislation that governs all federal bankruptcy laws. The BIA (Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act) governs all bankruptcies in Canada, and was enacted by the Canadian government to provide honest but unfortunate debtors solve their money problems and get a fresh financial start.
Federal law also provides the CCAA (Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act) which preserves the rights of creditors of certain businesses and corporations.
Provincial Bankruptcy Laws
Although insolvency law in Canada is a federal law, some provinces have their own laws in addition to the federal bankruptcy laws.
In addition, each province sets its own exemptions on assets that are seized in a bankruptcy.
Prince Edward Island provides an Orderly Payment of Debts Program.
Bankruptcy Law in Quebec
Quebec provides more information on bankruptcy laws in the Code of Civil Procedure, or you can visit our Quebec insolvency law page.
Bankruptcy Law in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan has an Exemptions Act and a Farm Security Act and we provide more information on our Saskatchewan bankruptcy law page.
SK provides an Orderly Payment of Debts Program.
Northwest Territories Bankruptcy Laws
NWT has an Exemptions Act and we give you more information on Northwest Territoriesbankruptcy law.
Yukon Bankruptcy Law
Yukon has an Exemptions Act that provides more information and we have listed information on Yukon bankruptcy law on our page.
Nunavut Bankruptcy Law
Read Nunavut’s Exemptions Act for more information, or visit our page about Nunavut insolvency law.
Do I need a bankruptcy lawyer?
No. While in the United States you need a lawyer to file bankruptcy, in Canada you can only go bankrupt or make a consumer proposal with a bankruptcy trustee, as only a Trustee in Bankruptcy is licensed to administer to insolvency; a practicing lawyer cannot file a bankruptcy or consumer proposal for you.
A bankruptcy lawyer in Canada is needed if you need help securing a bankruptcy discharge, among other services.
Get More Information From a Licensed Bankruptcy Trustee
The insolvency laws can be complex depending on your personal situation so it is important you contact a licensed bankruptcy trustee to speak over your financial troubles.